A sentencing and a verdict were handed out this week in two separate cases that involved the fatal shootings of unarmed men by police officers.
(WARNING: THE VIDEO ABOVE IS EXTREMELY GRAPHIC)
On Thursday, Michael Slager was sentenced to 20 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to violating Walter Scott’s civil rights during a police encounter that ended in Scott’s death on April 4, 2015. Slager had initially claimed self-defense but a video of the incident clearly showed Slager shooting Scott in the back as he ran away. After the sentencing, Rodney Scott, the victim’s brother, said that his family is “thankful for the justice system that worked on our behalf”.
It was a different outcome for another family on Friday, as ex-Arizona cop Philip “Mitch” Brailsford was acquitted in the death of Daniel Shaver. Bodycam footage of Shaver’s death was released to the public today. In the video, Shaver is seen sobbing and pleading the officers not to shoot. As he’s instructed to crawl towards the officers, Shaver appears to reach towards his hip, at which point Brailsford shot five rapid-fire rounds that ultimately killed Shaver.
The footage above joins the growing collection of videos of police shootings that have caught the nation’s attention.